6 Types of Java Certification (Plus Tips to Achieve Them)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 19 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Java is a computer programming language and software platform that Oracle Corporation developed to allow programmers to build applications and develop programs. Different Java certification courses certify users' competencies in using this language. If you're looking for a career in the IT industry, learning about Java certifications may help you plan your career progression goals. In this article, we discuss the types of Java certification, explain the benefits of pursuing them and outline tips on how to get these qualifications.

Types of Java certification

If you're a programming professional, there are different types of Java certification that you can pursue to prove your proficiency in this language. Java is an object-oriented programming language that runs across a wide range of platforms. You can use it to write applications for different platforms. Once developers write a Java-based application, they can run the same code on all platforms that have Java Runtime Environment (JRE) without recompiling the code.

Having a Java certification can show you have the expertise to use this language to perform programming tasks competently. While many companies provide Java courses, the Oracle Corporation offers certifications that many IT professionals recognise as creditable. Here's a list of some of the Oracle Java certifications you may consider:

1. Oracle Certified Associate (OCA), Java SE 8 Programmer Certification

This is a beginner certification that measures a candidate's understanding of the basics of Java programming. It involves passing the Java SE 8 Programmer I examination. This tests candidates on their knowledge of different topics, such as their abilities to develop Java code, apply Java operators and create loop constructs. Gaining this qualification is the first step to showing that you have the skills to become a professional Java developer. Those who earn this certification can:

  • define the structure of a Java class

  • differentiate between object reference variables and primitive variables

  • use Java operators

2. Oracle Certified Professional Java Programmer (OCPJP), Java SE 8 Programmer II

This credential requires candidates to have expertise in Java code development at a professional level. Candidates who have an Oracle Certified Associate qualification can achieve this higher-level credential by passing the Java SE Programmer II examination. Successful candidates who achieve this certification know how to:

  • implement encapsulation

  • develop code that uses abstract classes and methods

  • create and use a generic class

3. Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE 11 Developer

Targeted at professional Java developers, this certification proves candidates know the Java language, coding practices and features of Java SE 11. Professionals who gain this credential have a thorough understanding of specialised aspects, such as object orientation, functional programming through lambda expressions and modularity. They can:

  • use primitives and wrapper classes

  • declare and instantiate Java objects

  • handle exceptions using try, catch and finally clauses

Related: How to Become a Java Developer in 6 Steps (With Duties)

4. Oracle Certified Professional, Java EE 7 Application Developer

This certification allows application developers, architects and software engineers to seek an industry credential that highlights their advanced skills in developing and deploying applications using Java Platform, Enterprise Edition 7. It's targeted at those who have experience using Java EE 7 technology to develop web-based user interfaces using JavaScript. Those who achieve this qualification can:

  • understand Java EE architecture

  • create web applications using servlets

  • use Java Message Service Application Programming Interface (API)

  • develop applications using JavaServer Faces (JSFs)

  • implement business logic using Enterprise JavaBeans (EJBs)

5. Oracle Certified Foundations Associate

If you don't have any prior experience with this programming language, gaining this qualification may help validate your capabilities and skills. Aimed at students, the course provides the fundamentals of Java and involves passing the Java Foundations examination. Those who are beginning their careers as a programmer may also find this certification useful. Recipients of this credential know how to:

  • write and execute a Java program

  • work with the Java Development Kit (JDK) and Java Runtime Environment (JRE)

  • describe the features and applications of Java

  • identify the conventions in a Java program

  • use basic arithmetic operators to manipulate data

6. Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE 17 Developer

This certification is similar to the other professional certifications except that it focuses on Java SE 17. It allows candidates to show their proficiency in the practices, features and concepts of this Java edition. Earning this qualification implies that candidates can:

  • handle date, time, text, numeric and boolean values

  • create program flow constructs

  • define modules and their dependencies

  • develop worker threads using runnable and callable

  • read and write console and file data using I/O streams

Related: How to Get a Java Certification (Plus Jobs That Use Them)

Java certification examinations

Achieving a Java certification requires candidates to take and pass the relevant examination online. Each examination has between 50 and 85 multiple-choice questions that test candidates on their understanding of various examination topics. Here are more details about the different examinations:

  • Java SE Programmer I: This entry-level examination costs $474 and includes 70 questions that candidates answer within 150 minutes. The passing score is 65%.

  • Java SE Programmer II: This examination has 85 questions, is 150 minutes long and costs $474. The passing score is 65%.

  • Java SE 11 Developer: This professional-level examination expects candidates to respond to 50 questions within 90 minutes. The fee is $474 and the passing score is 68%.

  • Java EE 7 Application Developer: This is another professional-level examination that has 70 questions for completion within 110 minutes. Candidates pay $474 to attempt this examination and the passing score is 66%.

  • Java Foundation examination: This foundation-level examination lasts 150 minutes and has 75 questions. The passing score is 65% and the cost is $183.

  • Java SE 17 Developer: Passing this examination requires candidates to answer 50 questions within 90 minutes with a passing score of 68%. The fee is $474.

Related: What Does a Java Developer Do? And How to Become One

Tips for learning Java

It's important you acquire the relevant knowledge of Java before you attempt the certification examinations. By dedicating time to preparing for the examination, you may increase your chances of achieving the qualification. Here are some tips that may help you with your preparation:

Understand the basic concepts

Mastering the basic concepts of Java is key to accomplishing your targets. You can learn Java by referring to books or online resources. Having a sufficient fundamental knowledge of this programming language can help you manage complex obstacles as you advance in your learning.

Sign up for online courses

Many online courses and tutorials teach skills in Java. Some require a fee, but many are available for free. It's a good idea to browse these resources before deciding on which one to study. Some factors to consider are the curriculum and cost.

Practise coding

Practising coding may help you expand your knowledge and develop skills in this language. Building experience is key to a successful learning process. You may also join online training platforms for programmers that provide coding tasks of varying complexities.

Join Java coding boot camps

A Java boot camp provides intensive training over a short period that allows participants to gain practical skills to meet professional demands. The courses teach participants how to program in Java and provide opportunities to work on coding exercises. Boot camps have different durations and costs.

Try practice questions from mock tests

Attempting practice tests may help you gain a better understanding of the format of these certification examinations. There are many mock tests available online, either for a fee or for free. Doing these tests may also help you to identify areas that require extra revision.

Related: ITAM Certifications: Definition, Types and How-to Guide

Benefits of Java certification

Gaining Java certification validates your competencies and knowledge of using this language in programming. Here are some advantages of achieving Java certification:

Enhances career prospects

A certification may help prove your skills to potential employers as you progress in your IT career. If you're looking for programming jobs that require you to have expertise in Java, earning a related credential may help hiring managers understand the value you may bring to a company. A specialised qualification in this language may also mean that you can perform more demanding jobs that may help your career advancement.

Related: What Does an Information Technologist Do? Role and Skills

Highlights current skills

The IT industry is constantly evolving. Many IT professionals enhance their knowledge regularly so that they can handle these changes at work. Certification in Java may demonstrate your initiative to engage in continuous learning so that you can improve the quality of your work. It also shows your commitment to improving your skills to manage challenges in Java-related work.

Adds value to your resume

If you're a new entrant to the computer programming industry, including a Java certification on your resume may increase your chances of finding a job. This credential may distinguish you from other candidates. Gaining industry certifications may also show hiring managers that you're enthusiastic about establishing a career in this field.

Improves networking

Achieving a Java certification may offer increased networking opportunities with other Java professionals. This network may be useful to derive innovative solutions to challenges or when you troubleshoot related issues. Forming an effective professional network may also help in your career progression.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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